Simple solutions to tricky problems: No1

In the Telegraph today is an article entitled 'Commuters face worse overcrowding'. It describes how: "Overcrowding on Britain’s railways is going to get "substantially worse", an influential committee of MPs has said." And goes on to say "In a highly critical report, the Public Accounts Committee warned that the Government and rail industry would fail to provide the extra seats needed to keep up with soaring demand for rail travel.

The plight of commuters in major provincial cities is particularly bad, with the rail industry on course to deliver only 25,500 of the extra 38,000 seats that are needed to prevent overcrowding deteriorating further by March 2014 – a shortfall of around a third.

In London only 99,000 of the 117,000 extra seats will be provided, leaving the capital’s commuters 15 per cent short of the what the Department for Transport had identified as necessary."

The full piece can be read in full here

Now the detail that is really frightening is that all this will occur despite £9 billion (yes BILLION) being spent on the railways in the next 5 years.

So £9 billion and still, in London, there will be 15% more commuters than available seats.

How then can we, as a country, ensure that everyone gets a seat? Well really the solution is simple. Use the technology that is available, simple and CHEAP to work just one day a week from home. Or from some other place that does not involve getting on a commuter train.

How hard can that be to organise? Really, can you not imagine organising your working week enough to ensure that for just one day you do not need to spend large amounts transporting yourself to a very expensive office to sit and work?

Personally I do it the other way around and commute one day a week to London. The rest of the time I work from my (admittedly abnormally lovely) home office at the end of my garden. The day I'm in town is for reviewing progress, defining new goals and sorting out issues that need to be sorted out in person. It is an intense but enormously productive day. 5 days worth of water cooler moments, brain storming and analysis in one day. We've worked like this for ten years and it is mighty effective.

And on the days at home I use Skype for phone calls, screen sharing and video chats. Powwownow when we need to conference call with people away from their net connection. And of course Glasnost for getting things done. I have ALL my information on Glasnost, every comment, document, task or image I need to deal with. and when I'm not at my own desk I have the same access to everything through the Glasnost iPhone App.

It's really that simple - use the right tools, save yourself a lot of money, and solve the tricky problem of too many bums for seats!

Try it - it works

Antony Slumbers